Inside/Outside morning news roundup for 11.24

  • DOD Chuck Hagel is out. By the time you read this, Pres. Obama will have probably already announced the resignation of his defense secretary. The Hill explains the reasons behind the long simmering frustration the administration has had with Hagel. Not to be outdone, Politico has their take on Hagel’s resignation.
  • Read all about the Walker-Mallott transition teams weekend talk-a-thon.
  • Could Michele Angelique Flournoy become the first female secretary of defense? The Huffington Post thinks so and lays out their case for this impressive (and completely qualified) person to don the mantle that has been reserved for men…until now?
  • The AP’s Becky Bohrer has the latest on Gov.-elect Walker’s possible first act as governor: appoint a new National Guard adjutant general since Gov. Parnell has chosen not to make this decision due to time constraints of the transition.
  • Hilcorp has agreed to purchase Point MacKenzie LNG plant–yes there is one up there– per the Peninsular Clarion. The sale is awaiting approval from the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

  • In oil and gas news that should set many a water cooler abuzz; Al Arabiya News explains the reasons behind Iran’s parliament suggestion of $75-80/bbl oil prices for their budget. Ouchie.
  • More ouchie: Reuters reports that some commodity fund managers said that oil prices could drop to $60 per barrel if OPEC does not agree to turn the spigot. One manager predicts it’s going to fall down to $70 regardless. OPEC is meeting in Vienna this week to discuss such things. What I wouldn’t give for Brad Keithley to photo bomb the meeting.
  • Austin Baird with KTUU has an extraordinary piece about Walker-Mallott’s priorities once they are sworn in on December 1. Yes, there are graphs!
  • Bloomberg Politics and Saint Anslem College in New Hampshire joined forces and conduced a poll on possible 2016 presidential bids in the state’s primary race. The winners are Sen. Rand Paul and Gov. Chris Christi once Mitt Romney is removed.
  • Speaking of sly-like-a-fox Sen. Paul: in order to put limits on military engagement with ISIS, and re-impose constitutional norms on war-making powers, Paul drafted a resolution for the declaration of war against ISIS. The resolution draws on founding-father language, and sets limits on what the US can do in the Middle East. We’ll see how this goes down with the hawks and neocons like Sen-elect Dan Sullivan, many of whom, publically at least, beat their chests over Obama’s constitutional overreach.
  • As I reported a week ago, the director of the Office of Management and Budget has publically decided to retire, according to the Juneau Empire. Karen Rehfeld was a member of Gov. Parnell’s cabinet and has deftly been at the helm of the state budget since 2007 when Gov. Sarah Palin first appointed her. With Gov.-elect Walker having to submit his proposed state budget by Dec. 15, her announcement could put an unexpected wrench in his smooth transition.
  • The Washington Post examines why people voted for Republican candidates and seemingly contradictory liberal policies during the 2014 midterm elections.
  • Over at the Sitka Community Hospital, the Sitka Sentinel sighted Mr. Butts hanging out during the Great Alaska Smokeout.
  • The Alaska Department of Labor announced that Alaska unemployment rate for October has remained a steady 6.8%.
  • The Mat-Su Frontiersman has the details about a promising new program that teaches incarcerated inmates how to parent their children while they are still serving time. The theory is that it will reduce recidivism rates and decrease the likelihood that the children will become incarcerated. With Alaska having the highest conviction rates in the country for first time offenses, here’s hoping that this program succeeds.
  • The National Journal explains how Republicans see positive reasons for another government shutdown in retaliation to Pres. Obama’s executive decision regarding immigration. Here’s another idea that won’t include innocent government workers potentially losing their house/car due to a shutdown: Republicans should pass their own version of legislation to tackle this issue.
  • The Juneau Empire has an article about why Juneau Assemblyman Jesse Kiehl, Deputy Mayor Mary Becker and Rep. Cathy Munoz have banded together to launch a reform to protect the area’s financial stability: daycare centers.
  • Alaska Robotics News has launched another Kickstarter campaign so they can continue to creatively cover Alaska politics.
  • While defense spending is down, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are not out. What they are up to and where their project funding is coming from is explained by the Fairbanks News Miner.
  • Politico recounts the daunting task before Sen. Mitch McConnell: after years of slowly and tenaciously fighting to win enough seats to regain Senate control, what kind of ground work needs to be done so it isn’t all for naught in 2016?
  • Begich sat down with the Dispatch and explained that disapproval of Pres. Obama cost him his Senate seat. He underplayed the Jerry Active ad, and said what many of us have been saying about the race: He lost because it’s a red state.
  • Seward City News was pleased as punch to announce that the Travel Channel would be airing a special on Seward called Alaska Starts Here. I enjoy seeing anything Alaskan on TV as long is it differs from the Bushploitation reality shows that are rather in vogue of late. Here’s hoping that this is the first of many that shares the best of Alaska with the world.
  • If you were already nervous about how Uber, the increasingly maligned vehicle-sharing company, was using its technology, The Hill has a piece that won’t assuage your fears. It turns out that Uber has been monitoring users’ movements without their knowledge. While this is super creepy, it is completely legal and exposes a “gaping hole in the nation’s privacy laws.” This takes Sting’s infamous song to a whole new level.

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One thought on “Inside/Outside morning news roundup for 11.24

  1. Kathleen

    Conservatives were pushing for Fluornoy at Defense the last time around before Hagel was nominated. She was considered a qualified and a great compromise pick. Obama has shown nothing that indicates this line of reasoning is important to him when he acts. Such a sign of outreach on Obama’s behalf would be welcome, but I’m not holding my breath.

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